So you find out one of your lieutenants has a part-time gig and is moonlighting after-hours. Hmmm. What is a hiring manager to do? In today’s economic climate it’s certainly NOT unusual for employees to do whatever it takes to weather the storm.

For some, it’s teaching a yoga class three nights a week to break up the monotony of their everyday life (working for you), while others are just attempting to make ends meet – trying to generate additional cash flow to make up for a spouse’s lost income so they can make their mortgage payment.

Perhaps buried in their employee paperwork is a clause similar to this:

Outside Employment
Staff members interested in pursuing approval to engage in outside employment should notify the Department of Human Resources and request an “Application for Permission to Engage in Outside Employment or Practice of Profession.” This form requires approval in advance of engaging in such activities. A copy of the completed form will be kept on file in the Department of Human Resources. In addition, employees will not engage in an outside business or profession that would in any manner compete with a similar business or profession over which he or she would have direct supervision, inspection, or purchasing authority within the University, such being a conflict of interest. Under no circumstances can university property be used for the outside employment. The “Application for Permission to Engage in Outside Employment or Practice of Profession” must be completed or updated at the end of each fiscal year or each time the outside employment changes. Applications must be completed even if no payment is being received.

Putting the kibosh on any outside activity that requires an employee to perform work during the hours they are on your payroll – I get that. However, if this activity is for weekend work or at night after an employee has finished their day-to-day responsibilities, I’m not so sure I agree that employers should enforce a policy of discouragement.

Engaging in activities that allow an employee to participate in something they are passionate about can be a very good thing. Conversely, having restrictive covenants that DO NOT allow an employee to engage in any outside activities may create bad blood with someone who is either following their dream/passion or trying to make ends meet.

Just my humble opinion…